Over the past five to six weeks, Centacare FNQ's counsellors have had to be creative with how they adapt their therapeutic approaches with children not only to respect social distancing requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic, but also to keep the children engaged, ensure therapeutic benefit and build rapport with new young clients.
The team have been incorporating some different approaches during zoom counselling sessions, including reading stories together that have therapeutic benefit and address topics such as grief and loss, abandonment, self esteem, dealing with emotions, emotional regulation and many more. Art based activities have also been explored where clients can come to sessions with paper and pens and draw. This drawing is facilitating to a degree and the topic will change depending on the session and the client. For example, having drawn a bottle on the page the client is then asked to draw inside the bottle shapes or expressions of all the things they are bottling up - this can then be explored with the client verbally or not depending, again, if that is of benefit, the feel of the session and where the client is at within themselves. Art is an expressive form of therapy as well as therapeutic movement activities and games which are also working well through Zoom counselling. To build rapport with new young clients therapists are sharing their zoom screens and playing games such as scavenger hunt and Noughts and Crosses. Stormy writing is also a good therapy via zoom and can help identify different feelings such as what we are grateful for.
There are some challenges to counselling via zoom with young children such as missing the in-person interactive engagement and the sensory feedback this offers to the counsellor and client. Keeping kids focused is also a challenge on zoom and the client doesn't always have a safe and private place. Our counsellors are very mindful of this and address if it is an ongoing issue. There are occasional technical issues causing Zoom to freeze which can break the therapeutic flow of a session. So keeping activities shorter has been a change when zoom counselling.
All in all, the team are continuing to adapt their approaches and therapeutic interventions using their skill, experience, knowledge and creativity. We are all learning new things.
Call us on (07) 4044 0130 to discuss your needs or for more information about Counselling by Centacare FNQ.